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Robles sets the pace for wrestling in Las Vegas

December 06, 2008

Anthony Robles placed third at 125 pounds and Chris Drouin finished fifth at 141 pounds to lead the Arizona State University wrestling team at the 27th Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational Saturday evening at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. As a team, the Sun Devils scored 45 points and placed 18th overall in the 44-team event.

While ASU finished 18th in the team standings (up from 25th last year), No. 5 Nebraska claimed the championship crown with 124.5 points. No. 4 Cornell (91), No. 8 Minnesota (89), Pittsburgh (85) and Purdue (83) rounded out the Top 5. The Top 10 also included No. 12 Michigan (82.5), No. 14 Boise State (79.5), CS Bakersfield (76), No. 19 Indiana (69) and Virginia Tech (69). The Sun Devils, who finished 0.5 ahead of Wyoming in the standings, placed ahead of three Pac-10 foes, including UC Davis (20th with 42.5), CS Fullerton (24th with 34) and Cal Poly (28th with 27.5).

All three wrestlers were defeated in their first bouts of the day which eliminated one competitor and placed the other two in the consolation rounds. Up first, Robles faced sixth-seeded Zachery Sanders (Minnesota) in the semifinals and fell, 7-3, dropping to the consolation semifinals. He was joined there by Drouin, who was pinned by ninth-seeded and 20th-ranked Corey Jantzen (Harvard) in the 141 semifinals. The final Sun Devil to compete on the day was Vicente Varela at 149 pounds, who lost a 6-0 decision to seventh-seeded and 10th-ranked Matt Kyler (Army), just missing out on a guaranteed placement in the tournament.

Robles, despite the loss in the morning, rebounded in a big way to win two more bouts, both by technical falls, to place third overall. One year after not placing in the event, the second-seeded and eighth-ranked Robles first dropped conference rival Brandon Zoetewey (CS Bakersfield), the 11th-seeded and 18th-ranked wrestler, with an 18-0 score. In the medal round, Robles scored another 18 points and handed fourth-seeded and unranked Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech) an 18-1 tech fall.

Drouin, following his first loss of the tournament, fell again as he dropped a 5-4 decision in a rematch with 13th-seeded and unranked Chris Diaz (Virginia Tech), who he defeated in a 4-0 decision one day earlier. Relegated to the fifth-place bout, Drouin rebounded with a 6-2 decision over seventh-seeded and 13th-ranked Michael Thorn (Minnesota) to capture fifth-place in the tournament one year after not placing.

The Sun Devils will return to action on December 18 when they compete in the Reno Tournament of Champions at the Downtown Convention Center in Reno, Nev.

Arizona State at the 27th Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational
Day Two (Saturday, December 6) Results - ASU Only
##/## indicates tournament seeding/national ranking

125 - #2/#8 Anthony Robles (5-1, Third Place)
Semifinal - #6/nr Zachery Sanders (Minnesota) decision Robles, 7-3
Conso Semi - Robles tech fall #11/#18 Brandon Zoetewey (CS Bakersfield), 18-0
Third/Fourth - Robles tech fall #4/nr Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech), 18-1

141 - #4/#4 Chris Drouin (4-2, Fifth Place)
Semifinal - #9/#20 Corey Jantzen (Harvard) pinned Drouin, 2:02
Conso Semi - #13/nr Chris Diaz (Virginia Tech) decision Drouin, 5-4
Fifth/Sixth - Drouin decision #7/#13 Michael Thorn (Minnesota), 6-2

149 - ns/nr Vicente Varela (3-2, DNP)
Conso 6th - #7/#10 Matt Kyler (Army) decision Varela, 6-0